Velodyne DD-15+ Listening Tests
Now it was time to see if the new DD-15+ sounded as good as it measured. I queued up some music first. I feel if a sub can’t do music justice, then why bother using it at all?
Blu-ray: Porcupine Tree - Anesthetize
I’ve been a fan of Porcupine Tree since they first came on the music scene in the late 90s. Like a fine wine, their musicianship gets better with age, especially in an era where no talent ass clowns like EMINEM thrive in pop culture. I was thrilled when Porcupine Tree released a Blu-ray concert disc of their fabulous 2008 concert tour called Anesthetize. Mastered in 5.1 DTS-HD, the sound quality of this disc is benchmark. There is plenty of bass to wake up the Velodyne’s and let them shine. I cued up the first song “Fear of a Blank Planet” to get things going. Gavin Harrison’s bass drums immediately kicked as evident by the hard hitting bass I was feeling as the song really started to drive. The DD-15+’s presented a very full bodied sound while preserving the detail and decay of the drums and bass instruments. “My Ashes” was next which is just a fabulous song that really transforms you into the moment. The DD-15+s’s were able to keep up with the extremely high output that my RBH Sound speaker system is capable of producing. “Anesthetize”, arguably the best song Porcupine Tree has ever written is a sonic marvel. There are lots of long sustained bass notes which the DD-15+’s had no issues belting out. Although it’s a 20+ minute song, it certainly didn’t feel like it, likely because I was experiencing sonic nirvana.
DTS CD: Diana Krall - Love Scenes
I rather enjoy this CD not just for Diana's sultry voice but because the musical content is good and the sound quality is excellent. Tracks #2 "Peel Me a Grape" and #3 "I Don't Know Enough about You" had plentiful doses of chest pounding bass. This was particularly true for track #3 during the solo part where the Velodyne DD-15+'s were effortlessly producing a concise reproduction of the stand up bass where all the decay and sonics were preserved giving me that "better than being there experience" I often write about when reviewing truly high performance gear such as these Velodyne subs.
DTS CD: Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
This is another oldie but goodie in terms of multi channel music mixes. Track #1 "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" produced a higher degree of floor moving bass I previously never experienced on my DD-15 subs. I had the same experience with Track #3 "Fields of Gold". It was almost like I was re-experiencing these songs on a whole new system. The DD-15+ subs truly added a tactile element to the music I didn't realize was lacking prior. There is no need for bass shakers as these subs provide plenty of that on their own.
I finished off my music listening tests with a Blue Man Group demo CD I had on hand courtesy of Brian Ding of Rythmik Audio. A particular track that caught my attention was called "Club Nowhere". This song was chock full of prodigious amounts of deep sustained bass (up to 4 seconds long at a time) that would break any weakly designed sub if pushed to its limits. I was happy to report the Velodyne's gave me no troubles on this track. In fact, I was able to hit above reference levels in my 6,000 ft^3 listening space with no signs of distress. You can try as hard as you might, but you can't break these subs.
I can't tell you how much I love this movie. I'm a BIG Liam Neeson fan and this film exemplifies his ability to kick ass like no other. I've seen Taken probably 5-6 times now and wasn't planning on using it as reference material. I had guests over our home one night that wanted to watch it, so I put it on. What I didn’t expect was a whole new tactile experience watching this film. This was most notable during the scene where Neeson breaks into a brothel and starts messing the place up. The hard-hitting explosions were dynamically so lifelike that you could almost feel their heat. Every blow Neeson threw had a very tangible feel to them. The Velodyne's moved the experience of this excellent film up a notch in my book.
Blu-ray: Transformers 2
Hate this movie all you like, but true Transformers fans like me do find some redeeming qualities in it. Sans the ghetto bots and stupid parents, there is plenty of robot crushing, missile shooting action scenes and humor to prod you along for two hours or so. EMP blasts from the Decepticon weapons are lived, not just felt. The scene where the secret navy ship fires a prototype weapon on Devastator had me ducking and cheering as his body blew into pieces. I suspect if Optimus Prime were a home theater aficionado, he'd want a couple of these new Velodyne DD+ subs in his theater especially when Transformers 3 hits the rental market. The WOW factor these subs delivered was truly awe inspiring capable of igniting the AllSpark of even the most anhedonic lifeform.
You just responded to a response that is a year old.
eD no longer exists as well.
Wow.. impressive sub. But for $5000, that's a bit much. If someone has the space, the Elemental Designs subs should be able to best the DD+ easily, but they are not pretty and weigh in at 200+ lbs (A7-350 to the monster A7-900).
Elemental Designs Turns out to be a brand of ill repute. Research the warning signs.
See Forum link
What happened to Elemental Designs? [polkaudio.com]
As this article states "In fact, the DD15+ has about a 3dB output advantage at 20Hz to the original DD-18 we reviewed a few years back"
Is it fair/safe to assume the DD15+ is there abouts with the DB1 in a proper test environment? I'm clearly confused...
Had the opportunity to listen to the B&W DB1 and the Velodyne DD12+ side by side. The B&W didn't sound that great until it was turned up really loud (too loud for a domestic setup). If I turn it up that high my wife will kill me and if the wife wont kill me I can see the roof collapsing on me.
Both subs shook the entire demo room (felt like we were being attacked by two dozen angry baboons). The DD12+ was nice and smooth what ever the volume. Demo was provided by a leading av/hifi dealer here in Melbourne, Australia. Even they agreed that the B&W wasn't that impressive until the volume was cranked up. How about that??
Do you know if they actually EQ'd the setup?
I controlled the DB1 with B&W's SubApp program, which is compatible with Windows XP as well as Vista and Windows 7 (both 32 and 64-bit versions). Not shipped with the subwoofer, it must be downloaded from B&W Group North America Service & Support Homepage [bwgroup-support.com]. SubApp provides graphical user interface controls for the DB1's gain, phase, polarity, and equalization, and enables two additional functions not available on the control panel: naming the presets, and launching the DB1's Room Acoustics Compensation routine. The tools needed to run that last itema calibration microphone, four connector cables, and a USB-connected soundcard that generates the necessary test signalsare included with the subwoofer. With SubApp, the DB1 can take measurements of the room, then adjust its internal equalizer to compensate for up to four room-mode peaks within its operating range